PBA Player of the Week: Nelbert Omolon

On: 15 January 2008

Nelbert ‘Bitoy’ Omolon was picked by the PBA Press Corps as its Player of the Week for the period covering January 7-13 after scoring a career-high 40 points in Sta. Lucia's 123-106 rout over Air21 Express last Sunday.

That win also allowed the Realtors to get an automatic seat in the semifinals of the 33rd PBA Philippine Cup. This is the first time that the Realtors earned an outright passage to the Final Four since the league adopted the format in the 2004-05 Philippine Cup.

The 27-year-old native of Talakag, Bukidnon was so dominant in that game that he bettered his previous high by 10 points by going 11-of-16 from the floor, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc in 36 minutes of action. He also grabbed 9 rebounds and dished out 2 assists.

"Coach Boyet (Fernandez) said we're making history for the team and I just want to be part of it," said the athletic 6-foot-4 in a statement from the media association on Monday.

"It will be my first time to play in the semifinals and a best-of-seven in the PBA. For me, the game was crucial and it's so memorable," added the man who was a two-time Most Valuable Player in the All-Stars Rookie-Sophomore Blitz Game also has his personal motives.

"I've never scored 40 so I gave it my best shot," he said. "It may never happen again."

It was the first 40-point game by a local since Barangay Ginebra's Mark Caguioa made 45 points in their 118-114 overtime win over Air 21 on June 4, 2006.

Fernandez said Omolon "does the dirty works for my team. He plays defense, gets those offensive rebounds and second chance points."

"People may have overlooked his offensive skills and his 40-point production showed that his time spent doing those extra shooting drills after practice is surely paying dividends. Bitoy is now maturing to be an all-around player and a certified star of the PBA and I'm happy for him," Fernandez added.

Aside from Omolon, teammate Kelly Williams was also a recipient of the Player of the Week award. He did this three times and the last time was just last week.

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